Accepted into Nursing school! How can I prepare?


After a year, I have finally been accepted into nursing school! I'm super excited, but I know that I have many challenges that lie ahead of me. For those of you who are currently nurses or nursing students, what can I do to prepare myself during my studies? Are there certain things I should be studying? Any books I can read? Reviewing anatomy and physiology again? Any type of advice would be great!

A bit of background about me: I will be attending an accelerated nursing program (finish in one year). I have a bachelors in Health Science with a focus on Community Health Education. ~2 year experience volunteering in the emergency room.

Thank you all in advance for your tips and advice!

Specializes in Emergency Department. Has 8 years experience.

I would have to say that you should review physiology, with an eye toward patho. You shouldn't need to get too in-depth, just review the info from time to time so that you remember the material. Beyond that, I would say that you should be far more focused on ensuring that you can devote a significant amount of time to your studies. For the accelerated programs, that means you shouldn't work. Not at all, if possible. You're going to get a lot of information presented to you very quickly. Once you know what reading assignments you're going to have, start reading those assignments. The idea is that you should get ahead about 2-3 weeks of where you will be in your assignments and stay that far ahead. That way, you have some cushion for life events that throw you off. It's far easier to stay ahead than it is to catch up to the present if you're behind.

I would also say that if you've been doing vitals already, great. If not, don't fret about that. They'll teach you what you need to know to begin doing your assessments.

The last thing is that you probably should just get used to the idea that nursing care plans are going to be a horrible pain in the back-side. Just do them. I hate them with a monumental passion that I can not adequately express... but I do them. Why? They provide a good template for why we do the things we do. It's not for the patient's benefit that we do those care plans. It's for ours. Care plans make it a lot easier to integrate the classroom learning with the clinical learning. And I'll be very glad when I no longer have to do those care plans... because it means that I've gotten to the point where I understand the processes well enough that I n longer need to do those plans, even though I might still have to prep some on my patients so that I know what's safe and what isn't.

Just do your level best to understand the information that you're going to be presented with. Probably the last bit of information: testing will likely be very different from what you're used to. Be ready to critically read. I missed a few questions simply because I misread the question. Most questions you've had to answer in your classes to date probably are those that require simple regurgitation of information. Now you're going to have to take the information you've read and be able to answer questions by applying that information you've read. That's a whole different level of thinking. It won't be easy, but it's not impossible. I was worried about that myself. I know that I can do it, because I'm doing it. While you may have been a 4.0 GPA student earlier, nursing school is so different that keeping that 4.0 GPA is exceptionally rare. Don't beat yourself up if you don't get grades you thought you'd get based on previous classwork. Concentrate on passing and if you happen to get good grades along the way, that's a bonus.


46 Posts

I am currently in an accelerated BSN program and the best advice I have for you is to mentally and emotionally prepare for the year ahead of you. I am still in my first semester and loving it..but it has definitely been a whirlwind. I recommend that you just relax as much as you can before your program starts and maybe lightly go through your physiology textbook...but I think you should just focus on preparing yourself for a very intense year :) Good Luck!


115 Posts

Thank you so much for your responses! I'm going to brush up on my Physiology as I had the most trouble in that area.


22 Posts

Hi! I was just accepted into Concordia for Summer 2013 and Im so excited! Can you tell me a little about how the program is? How your school and clinical rotations schedule looks like? thanks!


141 Posts

I honestly wouldn't worry too much about the reviewing or reading. I would just make sure you have everything squared away outside school. Financially, family, work, etc. I am in my first semester now and see people having a lot of trouble with this stuff. The school work is only half of it. It's the balance of school and other that people seem to be having trouble with. Time management is everything.


15 Posts

Great comments everyone !


15 Posts

I saw on an old post suggesting to get a book on how to apply critical thinking for NCLEX type questions! I think that's a great idea !


115 Posts

Thank you CFCC13 for the suggestion! I bought a copy of Critical Thinking and Clinical Judgement to read for the time being. I'm thinking about going through a CNA or MA program to help me a bit. Any other recommendations would be appreciated!


41 Posts

thanks for the advice! ;)

Has <1 years experience.

Thanks for your input! I am a newbie too, and appreciate the insight from those of you who are in the know. :dummy: akulahawk, especial thanks.

Has 8 years experience.

I say the same thing to every person who poses this question... DO NOTHING! Nursing school will teach you just about everything you need to know. If you start working now, it may be out of context or even something you do not need to know. There is no memorizing in Nursing School it will all need to be a part of the big picture that they will teach you!

Spend this time with your family, watching bad TV, reading non school books, anything that makes you happy. Check out this post I created about a month ago.. Things I wish I would have known...